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Eddie Goldman is the host and producer of the No Holds Barred international podcast, the publisher of the No Holds Barred blog, and a senior contributing editor at the ADCC News.

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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Holds Barred: John Perretti on Lawler-Babalu, Chuck Liddell, Shot Fighters, and Brain Injuries 


On this edition of No Holds Barred, host Eddie Goldman speaks with our senior correspondent John Perretti about the June 16 Robbie Lawler-Renato "Babalu" Sobral mixed martial arts fight in Strikeforce, the rise and fall of Chuck Liddell, and the dangerously disgraceful lack of oversight of the combat sports.

The Robbie Lawler-Renato "Babalu" Sobral fight is the main event on a Strikeforce card on Wednesday, June 16, at the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles. It will be shown live in the U.S. on Showtime. We open with comments on this fight from both Robbie Lawler and Babalu from a media conference call on June 9.

As UFC matchmaker, John Perretti booked both Liddell and Babalu in bouts early in their careers. Our lengthy discussion examined the careers of Liddell and Babalu and analyzed the lessons to be learned from them.

Fighters like Chuck Liddell have suffered repeated knockouts in fights, yet have still been allowed to fight, both by promoters and the regulatory bodies which cater to the promoters. In his last fight, last August in Strikeforce, Babalu was knocked out in one minute of the first round by Gegard Mousasi. We thus focused on the growing trend of head injuries to fighters in the mixed martial arts and how next to nothing is being done to monitor and protect them.

John Perretti called for mandatory retirement for such shot fighters, exposed the grossly incompetent refereeing where fighters who have already been knocked out continue to get hit while referees watch from afar, and called for urgent action to be taken by those with both integrity and knowledge of the combat sports to protect the fighters. He also explained how fighters like Liddell and Babalu, who have suffered from accumulating so many head blows in their careers, may be awaiting tragic fates.

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